2015 Sheldon G. Hayes Award

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The Sheldon G. Hayes Award winner is determined through a two-year process. Highway pavement projects using more than 50,000 tons of asphalt are eligible for consideration. Initially, they must win a Quality in Construction (QIC) Award, which is determined by numerical scores given by pavement engineers at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) on the basis of how well the contractor met the specifications and achieved density on the finished pavement.  All the pavements that meet a benchmark figure are given the QIC award.

 

The year after a project wins a QIC Award, it may be considered for the Sheldon G. Hayes Award. The top-ranked projects from each year are tested for smoothness, then visually inspected by an independent pavement consultant with many years of experience in the industry. This year, the evaluators praised the contestants for high-quality construction practices resulting in smooth, safe, and durable pavements.

 

WINNER

NORRIS ASPHALT PAVING CO.

OTTUMWA, IOWA

 

Norris Asphalt Paving Co. and the Iowa Department of Transportation were named the winner for Norris Asphalt Paving Co.’s work on U.S. 34 in Montgomery and Adams counties. The 15-mile project dealt with many variable widths, numerous turning and climbing lanes, and long material hauls. The project also featured road widening, and an almost 2-mile section of roadway that went from two lanes to four lanes and then back to two lanes. In addition, another Iowa highway, U.S. 71, intersected the middle of the four-lane portion of the project.  

2015 SGH Norris Asphalt-US 34-3

 

“I don’t think there was a flat spot on this project,” said Brady Meldrem, Norris Asphalt President. “I think there were passing lanes going up every hill.” The U.S. 34 project, which spanned both Montgomery and Adams counties, Iowa, used more than 79,000 tons of asphalt. To start, .5-inch to 1-inch was milled off the east side of the roadway, said Bob Mobley, Norris Asphalt’s Paving Superintendent. 

 

“It was widened four feet on each side, even in the four-lane section,” Mobley said. “What was difficult in the four-lane section was going from two lanes to four lanes in such a short area.”
The four-lane section was 1.8 miles long and sitting in the middle of this section was U.S. 71, and its accompanying interchange and ramps. “When you talk about the varying widths, that’s extremely difficult to do,” Meldrem said. “It’s not just put the paver down and measure. The lanes go from side-to-side, and Bob Mobley and the whole team did a great job of getting it all laid down.”

 

The road’s owner, the Iowa Department of Transportation, said the company’s experienced personnel were a valuable asset to this project and its ability to juggle the many variables.

 

2015 SGH Norris Asphalt-US 34-2“The U.S. 34 project was fairly complex in the fact that it contained nine climbing lanes, five bridges to transition into, two major intersections with turn lanes and variable widths, as well as transitions into and out of a two-mile long, four-lane section with a major interchange,” said Scott Nixon, Iowa DOT’s Resident Construction Engineer. Dan Roberts, Norris Asphalt’s Project Manager, Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) was used in all three of the project’s mixes. “The RAP came from the project as we milled a little over 13 miles,” Roberts said. “The base mix used 21 percent RAP, the intermediate mix used 20 percent RAP, and the surfaced mix used 17 percent RAP.” 

 

Ray Brown, National Center for Asphalt Technology Emeritus Director and the independent consultant who inspected each project site, said the pavement performed well in every single category to win the top award. “At the time of inspection, the completed surface was very smooth and dense without any cracking, rutting, raveling, or segregation,” Brown said.

 

  

 

FINALIST

KELLY PAVING INC.

RAYLAND, OHIO

 

2015 SGH Kelly Paving-I70Kelly Paving Inc. and the West Virginia Department of Transportation–District 6 were named a finalist for Kelly Paving Inc.’s work on I-70 in Wheeling and Tridelphia, West Virginia. The mill-and-overlay project was a pilot program, requiring the pavement to meet percent within limits (PWL) standards that were in unchartered ground for the company.

 

“This was a brand-new spec that they rolled out for this four-lane piece of roadway, which is a major east-west corridor between Columbus and Pittsburgh,” said Mark Haverty, Area Manager for Kelly Paving Inc. “It’s very heavily traveled with a lot of big trucks.” Ed Morrison, Quality Control Manager for Kelly Paving Inc., a division of Shelly & Sands, said the 54,000-ton, six-mile asphalt project included the busy interchange of I-70 and I-470, requiring this project to be completed on a nighttime production schedule.

 

“We definitely had to pay extra attention to this project, particularly the plate samples pulled as well as mat density and joint density,” Morrison said. “It was a lot of firsts for the state of West Virginia.”

 

When Kelly Paving first heard of the PWL limit requirement, the company admits it gave them reason to pause. “We were very concerned about our ability to operate within spec, and the project had disincentives associated with it that we were concerned about,” Haverty said. “We spent a lot of extra time in planning and trying to make sure we were working within the spec. It was unfamiliar ground for us.” William D. Dague, District 6 Materials Supervisor for the West Virginia DOT, said the state was interested in ensuring a consistent final product. “Prior to this project, we were using a moving average type of spec, which allowed for variances that may not be desirable,” he said.

 

To help achieve the PWL specifications, Kelly Paving cut all surface open joints back four inches. Then PG 64-22 liquid asphalt was applied to the open face of the joint before it was matched, Morrison said.

 

Another unique aspect of the I-70 project was the extensive teamwork and collaboration between Kelly Paving and the West Virginia DOT, both Haverty and Morrison said.

 

“We talked to them multiple times a day about issues we were having and really took them on as partners in building the project,” Haverty said. “So it really turned out well for both partners involved.”

 

Ray Brown, National Center for Asphalt Technology Emeritus Director and the independent consultant who inspected the project site, said the I-70 pavement met top-notch standards. “At the time of inspection, the pavement was in very good condition with very little cracking and no rutting, raveling, or segregation.”

 

FINALIST

MANATT'S INC.

NEWTON, IOWA

Manatt's Inc. and the Iowa Department of Transportation were named a finalist for Manatt's Inc.’s work on Iowa 1 in Johnson, Linn, and Jones counties. The company was contracted to mill and overlay a sizeable portion — 21 miles — of Highway 1 near Mt. Vernon, Iowa.


A heavy June rainstorm dropped 12 inches of rain just over a six-hour period, washing out a box culvert bridge centered in the middle of the 2014 project. While Manatt’s Inc. worked to reconstruct the box culvert bridge, the company also created a workaround to deliver materials to the project.

 

“We had to finish the north end of the job, and our plant was on the south end of the bridge that was washed out,” said Joe Manatt, Vice President of Manatt’s, Inc. asphalt division. “So we had to haul around the washed out area to finish.”


Prior to construction, the road consisted of concrete with 3-4 inches of asphalt pavement as the top course. Manatt’s Inc. milled the surface to about two inches and then placed a two-inch overlay as the surface course.

2015 SGH Manatts-Iowa 1

Manatt’s Inc. said it closely collaborated with the Iowa DOT on all stages of the project, including the repair work. The DOT, owner of Highway 1, placed a few strict requirements on the project, which Manatt’s Inc. said required careful planning.

 

“The time frame of when we could and couldn’t work was limited compared to other projects,” said Jeff Steinkamp, Project Manager for Manatt’s Inc. The Iowa DOT estimates that 7,400 vehicles travel this span each day, with 6 percent truck traffic.


Perhaps the most difficult requirement Manatt’s had to meet was the specification of only one surface lift, Steinkamp said. “We milled the whole road, and we used 20 percent recycled material in the one lift overlay,” he said. “Multiple lifts usually result in better ride quality. When you have only one lift to achieve smoothness, everything needs to run consistently.”
Mark Brandl, Resident Construction Engineer with the Iowa DOT, said Manatt’s Inc. “did a good job and the pavement is holding up well.”

 

Ray Brown, National Center for Asphalt Technology Emeritus Director, said there was a shoulder on both sides of the mainline pavement and each shoulder was paved simultaneously to the adjacent traffic lane, resulting in one longitudinal joint at the centerline of pavement. “At the time of inspection, the condition of the pavement surface was excellent with no cracking, rutting, raveling, or segregation, except for cracks in the underlying concrete reflecting through the pavement surface,” Brown said.

  

FINALIST

NORRIS ASPHALT PAVING CO.

OTTUMWA, IOWA

2015 SGH Norris Asphalt-I92

Norris Asphalt Paving Co. and the Iowa Department of Transportation were named a finalist for Norris Asphalt Paving Co.’s work on Iowa 92 in Adair County. Two different roadway surfaces already existed on the 16.3-mile section of roadway, calling for two different placement techniques to be used. The project was completed in about two months and used 69,000 tons of asphalt.

 

The west end of the roadway featured cold in-place recycling with an intermediate and surface overlay. In contrast, the roadway heading east on Iowa 92 was concrete, which in turn was milled and rubblized before the lifts were placed.

 

A roughly four-mile range of the east section was milled 4.5 inches to the concrete, said Bob Mobley, Paving Superintendent for Norris Asphalt. This was then rubblized and widened with macadam stone. “Then, about three inches of choke stone was used and followed by six inches of asphalt,” Mobley said. The overlay included base, intermediate, and surface layers.

 

Brady Meldrem, Norris Asphalt President, said placing three inches of the aggregate base overtop the rubblization helped attain the project’s final impeccable smoothness. “It helps retard reflective cracking and add structure to the project,” Meldrem said.

 

The asphalt milled off the east end of the project was reused throughout the project’s mix designs as reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), said Dan Roberts, Project Manager for Norris Asphalt. The company was permitted by the road’s owner, the Iowa DOT, to close the east side of the road until the first lift was accomplished. Mobley’s management of both sides of the roadway was a key ingredient to the project’s success, Roberts said.

 

“Bob Mobley was juggling multiple variables between his closed road, cold in-place guys out on the west half of the job, and making the two flow,” Roberts said. “His surface was one continuous overlay that went over the rubblization and choke stone, and then was carried out over the cold in-place part of the project.”


The company has a standing policy to designate 25 percent of the smoothness incentives the company receives on projects such as Iowa 92 and share it among the various crews.  “The people out on the road have ownership in this whole thing because they’re working for a bonus,” Meldrem said. “It’s been a very successful program for us.”


The continuous wheel of production paid off for Norris Asphalt. When Ray Brown, National Center for Asphalt Technology Emeritus Director, inspected the pavement, he said “there was very little cracking and no rutting, raveling, or segregation.”

 

The Iowa DOT was pleased with the company’s on-site performance, as well. “The surface lift was placed over the entire project from beginning to end with very good smoothness numbers,” said Scott Nixon, Iowa DOT Resident Construction Engineer.

 

  

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The award is named for Sheldon G. Hayes, a founder of NAPA and the association's first chairman. Hayes spent his entire career striving for better construction techniques and improvements in the quality of asphalt pavements.